Thoughts & Essays

Pandemic Notes: 5/26/20

Today is Tuesday, May 26, and Week 11 of my quarantine. As of today, America has suffered very nearly 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, and has over 1.6 million cases of the coronavirus. Our alleged president, Donald Trump, spent the holiday weekend golfing and tweeting insults, conspiracy theories, and bald-faced lies. The American people spent the weekend mingling cheek-to-jowl, maskless, in many parts of the country.

COVID-19 News

๐Ÿ“ฐ A recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll says that two-thirds of America expects a “return to normal” to take 6 months or more, and about three-quarters are worried about a second wave of COVID-19.

๐Ÿฅ We could have saved 36,000 lives if we’d started physical distancing just one week earlier.

๐Ÿ’ฉ Grifters and bullshit artists are filling your social media feeds with fake garbage about COVID-19. Find out who they are and what crap they’re shoveling.

๐Ÿฆ  We appear to have cases of mink, the little weasels with the nice fur, passing COVID-19 to the humans who work with them.

๐Ÿ’Š Cubans are using two drugs to treat the cytokine storms that COVID-19 causes, and it seems to be working pretty well. The drugs are itolizumab, a “monoclonal antibody” (whatever that is), and an unnamed peptide developed to fight rheumatoid arthritis.

๐Ÿ“ฐ We went into lockdown to fight COVID-19, and that worked pretty well. Not perfectly, but it definitely helped a lot. It also stopped cold and flu season in its tracks, brought several outbreaks of measles to a screeching halt, and stopped the spread of a handful of other respiratory diseases. Check it out.

๐Ÿ’Š WHO stopped human tests on hydroxychloroquine because, as people have repeatedly said, that shit is dangerous. It’s linked to higher death rates from COVID-19 in those who were taking it.

๐Ÿ“ฐ Good read: “Iโ€™m a chef in a seaside town. Iโ€™m not an epidemiologist. Business owners like me face a summer of uncertainty, and Iโ€™m terrified.”

๐Ÿฆ  So far COVID-19 has mostly hit the coasts, causing suffering and devastating loss of life. That’s mostly where democrats live. Republicans, mostly living in the flyover states, haven’t been hit by the disease as hard yet, but their economy got kicked in the balls. Maybe this explains a small part of the political reactions? I dunno. But COVID-19’s coming for the flyovers too, so brace yourselves, folks.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ Guess who kicked COVID-19’s whole entire ass with extreme prejudice? Mongolia, that’s who. They were ahead of the game at every single turn. We should be taking advice from them.

๐Ÿ’‰ Don’t get your hopes up too far; vaccines are hard. But, we’ve got a little more good vaccine news.

๐Ÿ’ฉ There’s still a ton of bullshit circulating about masks. No, you aren’t breathing in too much CO2 when you wear a mask. No, they don’t “activate your viruses,” whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. No, a cloth mask won’t stop a virus, but we’re not trying to stop viruses, we’re trying to stop the spit flying out of your mouth and nose. No, a cloth mask won’t protect you from someone else’s viruses, but we’re not trying to do that, you wear the mask to stop your own spitty, gross viruses from flying around. JFC.

Non-COVID-19 News

๐Ÿ‘จโ€โš–๏ธ The House of Representatives went to court to get Robert Mueller’s grand jury material. They’ve been temporarily blocked, which is apparently okay because it lets them file appeals they needed to file? I guess they needed the deadline for some kind of legal reasons.

๐ŸŠ Trump pulled the US out of the Open Skies treaty, which is the treaty that lets nations fly surveillance flights over each other’s countries.

๐Ÿคก Kevin Hassett, a White House economic advisor, said on CNN over the weekend, “Our human capital stock is ready to get back to work.” Yes. He referred to people as “human capital stock.” So if you were curious as to whether or not Trump flunkies realize you’re a sentient entity, you have your answer now. For reference, Kevin Hassett is the same idiot who used an Excel spreadsheet to prove that COVID-19 deaths would be at “0” by May 15.

Aaand we’re done for today. Enjoy this dog who’s extremely concerned about the new addition to his household.